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Quake in Chiapas felt in Mérida, along beaches in Yucatán

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Residents drive by a collapsed building felled by a massive earthquake, in Juchitan, Oaxaca state, Mexico, Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. One of the most powerful earthquakes ever to strike Mexico has hit off its southern Pacific coast, killing at least 32 people, toppling houses, government offices and businesses. Photo: AP/Luis Alberto Cruz

Update at 2:30 p.m. EDT:

A strengthening Hurricane Katia bears down on Mexico’s Gulf coast, likely to strike land just about a day after the country a 8.2 earthquake. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Katia had winds of 105 mph (165 kph) early Friday afternoon.

The earthquake was hardest on the Oaxacan city of Juchitan, a township of almost 100,000 people and a center of the Zapotec culture, where 17 died. The total death toll is at 32 and counting.

The Anel hotel in Matias Romero split in half, but no guests or staff were reported killed.

About 650 miles away, in Yucatán, still no damage has been reported, but nerves were shattered when walls rattled, chandeliers swayed and pools sloshed water. Update source: Associated Press

A street at the eastern area of Mexico City is in rubble on Friday after a 8.2 earthquake hit just before midnight. Photo: Alfredo Estrella via Getty/AFP

Update at 12:30 p.m. EDT: 
Confirmed to be the most powerful to hit Mexico in 100 years, Thursday’s earthquake in Oaxaca killed at least 32 people while rattling millions of residents far away in Mexico City and Yucatán.

About 50 million people across Mexico felt the earthquake. In the capital, residents fled into the streets at midnight, shaken by alarms blaring over loudspeakers and a full minute of tremors. Windows broke, walls collapsed, and the city’s Angel of Independence monument was seen swaying. Update source: The New York Times</em

Oaxaca took the brunt of an earthquake late Thursday. Photo: Facebook

Update at 9 a.m. EDT:

At least 15 people were killed as an earthquake slightly stronger than the 1985 quake in Mexico City toppled houses and sent panicked people into the streets more than 1,000 km (650 miles) away.

National civil defense chief Luis Felipe Puente told the Televisa network that at least 15 people had died, 10 of them in Oaxaca, also close to the epicenter.
Hundreds of buildings collapsed or were damage, power was cut at least briefly to more than 1.8 million people and authorities closed schools Friday in at least 11 states to check them for safety.

The quake caused buildings to sway violently in Mexico’s capital. As beds banged against walls, people still wearing pajamas fled into the streets, gathering in frightened groups. Update source: Associated Press

Posted  7:30 a.m. EDT:

“Was that just an earthquake at the beach?” an expat in Progreso posted on social media.

Not exactly. It was a deadly earthquake, but with an epicenter 980 km (609 miles) away, and powerful enough to be felt on the beach and inland in Yucatán.

The quake killed at least five people as of sunrise Friday, with the New York Times confirming it was the strongest in a century to hit Mexico.

A record-setting earthquake near the southern Pacific coast was felt for hundreds of miles. Google map

The 8.2-magnitude earthquake was centered off Chiapas state near the Guatemalan border. If local calculations are correct, this is mightier than the 1985 earthquake that killed thousands and devastated Mexico City.

The quake, which began at 11:59 p.m. Thursday local time, caused buildings to sway violently in Mexico’s capital more than 1,000 km (650 miles) away. Most damage and casualties were centered in Oaxaca and Chiapas.

It was also felt in Yucatán, where some people wrote on Facebook that they at first assumed that the earthquake was closer to home.

A collapsed building in the town of Matias Romero in Oaxaca. Photo: Facebook

“Strangest thing I ever felt. The couch was shaking and the protectores were rattling on the windows,” one resident posted.

“I’m on a second floor and I thought I was dizzy and I thought it was my imagination but I felt it like 5 minutes ago,” said a Chelem resident early this morning.

In Mérida, an expat in La Ermita reported hearing a “loud sound, then water in my pool swaying side to side…also house swaying slightly.”

No quake-related damage has been reported so far in Yucatán.

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